So you must be wondering Why Manga Storyboards are the Blueprint of Comics? Manga storyboards are important to creating manga. They are the blueprint to creating your manga and comic. In this in-depth guide, we are going to learn about What is a storyboard for manga? Why do you even a storyboard for your manga? Then we go into the use of panels and using flow and going into how to structure your storyboard. Using the 3 C's Continuity is making sure that each panel makes sense to the last panel. Composition how the artwork in your storyboard panels is used and the contents framed in a way that is interesting to the reader. Clarity is making sure that your storyboard is clear and easy to read with your artwork and your dialogue. Then we go into different types of panels looking at the unconventional as well as manga spread pages everything you would want to think about in creating your storyboard is here because this is definitely a complete blueprint to make your storyboards set up for the next part of the process. Next time we are getting into clip studio a full guide on how to make manga with it.
I want you to imagine a boy who read about a fantastical treasure in story books as a child. He would think about this treasure left by the man who had seen the world. So the boy created a map. That laid out everywhere he wanted to go and all the things people that man saw.This boy took the map to see the world and search for the treasure. He saw all the man's sights and started to close in on the treasure he imagined as a child. Now he is at the midpoint of his tale, will he find his treasure he has been searching for?…
And that brings me to the topic of today's video Why manga storyboards are blue prints of comics. Now let's get into it.
Hey y’all ! it's ya boy Vandel and i'm back with another video in the making manga series and today is the oh so amazing storyboard. But if you have not checked out the other videos in the series I would check them in the card above. Now the storyboards. This is a fun part of the manga making process and is the step right before we start to actually draw our manga. Actually draw? Yeah so let's get into what the storyboard is all about.
What is a Storyboard
A Storyboard is basically the pre plan to our manga. This is where you can sketch all the ideas from your script. The script and your story board are really close friends. Because they work very close to each other as the storyboard is the visual translation of script and that's the main importance for the creation of the storyboard. Cause you know... we are making manga. But why do we need to even do a storyboard can't we just start drawing our manga. Ok you could do that but let me tell you why you need the storyboard.
Why do you need a Storyboard
Now if you don't know me by now. Preplanning is what all this manga process is and this is no different even though this is the fun part don't just jump the gun yet. The storyboard is useful because it allows you to properly plan out and structure our manga. This will help you think about the layout, Think about where the panels go, think about simple ideas for your composition and art and where to put dialogue and sfx should go. Basically placement. It makes your process for drawing your manga later clearer and not so haphazard. The greatest part is that it can help you save time. The time saving is crucial because like i have talked about before in the making of my manga for shonen jump video pages when you get to the next phase it can take up 15hr + on a page even if you have a story board. Now image if you didn't you'll be here for a while.
How to create one
So you decided to make the right choice and not waste your time and you wanna know how to make a storyboard. Ok I gotchu one… ONE WORD… PANELS!
But before we get into that boring stuff lets get into this fun interesting stuff. So you are probably wondering where you should create this almighty tool for the manga gods. Well you honestly got the three choices Paper and pencil Computer or chisel and stone. Literally your only options are chisel and stone. Could you imagine? But seriously just make it in a place that you are comfortable with and can have access too. I recommend a paper pencil approach. More so because it's always accessible and easy to work with. But feel free to use whatever you want... I see you reaching for that hammer!
Alright now we have our tools. make sure you have your script or this is all pointless. So now we can start the process and everything in this process will live and die with the Panel. Now panels are simply an individual frame. Panels become a comic when we add more frames to the page and then sequential storytelling is born! Boom! Betcha they didn't teach you that in manga school. Wait… There isn't manga school.. I know I just blew your mind. But keep up with me so panels come in various sizes and we will talk about later but the most important is the layout of these panels.
Ok I have read a lot of manga and from time to time I see panels organized in a way that don't understand layout. Don't get me wrong art can be whatever you want, but you need to understand the rules of the game before you try to break it and the first part of your layout that will dictate everything is the direction your reader will be reading the comic or manga. Will they be reading left to right or right to left or even just up to down… Or even the 4th way which I really think might be the 4th dimension of comic reading but my theory is still in the beta phase. Let's get back to what we know. Excluding the 4th dimension we need to pick that direction. Now that we have that choice down we can move on to looking at that script.
Ok So the script. If you are confused and don't have it yet go look at the script creation video. But now we are going to have our script on one hand and drawing on our other. Yes we are light Yagami!. We need to start our translation. If your notes of your script are good and descriptive then we can start paneling out the page. The issue some people might have now is that you're not sure what size panel or what kind of panel you should use and where. I gotchu don't worry.
Now when you think of a panel's size and shape it is more akin to a camera frame and the size of the panel you can imagine it in terms of importance to your story and what you want to show. With the many panels you'll use, the more it becomes a Tetris game to make sure things fit how you want. Now I think a good rule of thumb is that the size of the panel will be where you have the most important visual information. Now what you put in your panel is up to you. There are very conventional ways to approach paneling using film shots for your panel contents like establishing shots that shows where your characters are in the setting etc, close ups to really show those emotional moments or certain facial expression, and POV not used as much but sometimes seeing what the character sees adds to the immersion of their feelings in the moment. There are more types but they will change as you create different panels to show those shots. I would also recommend almost always to use a rectangle and a square for your manga. I’ll talk about this later and creating unique frames needs to be done with a purpose and sparingly to have a bigger impact for your readers.
Where to lay your panels? I would always start at the top and depending on the reading direction on the left or the right. Then we need to make our way down in the way of Z till we get to the end of the page. Getting the hang of what you need to put where is going to need two things. One you will need to read and study other manga and comics and see how their paneling is done and how they use them to tell the story and when they do and don't break the rules. Now the next part is to create the storyboard.
Storyboards again are very rough sketches of your manga now, if you see on the screen what I drew here will look very different from the final project. Although you are making this to plan out your road map, know that things will change and that's ok but having some idea now is better than no idea later. So now start sketching out your panels first read what you wrote and then imagine what that looks like as a sequence of shots and draw. It's as simple as that.
However there are some things I want to talk about to help improve this simple practice. We talked about shots earlier. A good rule of thumb is to vary up your shots. We don't need 10 establishing shots or pages of close ups with nothing but heavy dialogue. What you want is to keep your reader interested in what's happening in each panel. So as you go through ask yourself am I using too much of one thing how can I make it different but still flow well.
Ah.. Flow! This was what we talked about briefly in the scripting portion of the video series. Flow in comics how the panels go into one another. This is also about continuity and composition. Continuity in the sense does what happened in the last panel follow into what happens in the next and in terms of composition and how interesting it is to the viewer and clarity meaning that it is complex and easy to understand. Look at the three C’s. Lets break them down a bit more because I want to make sure this is clear and I’ll use Note as an example
Continuity is basically how your panel transitions from panel to panel. If your character walks into a room having them instantly fighting a villain in the next panel is a bit disjointed and jarring for the reader. Instead once they walk in they sit down or we see another angle of them coming in. As we progress to the villain fight, we should be thoughtful about how we transition to the next panel. There are two things we need to work on to get that continuity: we need our script and to really work through the scene and imagine the order of events and key into the important parts that are written in our script. It's kinda the acting we talk about in the video on scripts. To understand what I mean about continuity let's look at a page from note. [Pick a page and talk about]
Composition is important because in each panel we are thinking about framing everything. I want you to think of the panel as a camera and how it's looking at your character. So with composition what angles are we using and what are we putting in the panel from what angle and HOW! are we putting it how we can arrange our characters and background to evoke feelings in the reader to elevate what we are trying to convey in our story. The next part of our composition aside from art is how our word bubbles and SFX frame in the panel. Do we need to panel break and how does the placement of our pieces create flow in our comic. So in composition you want to make sure you are placing your characters and everything in an eye pleasing way to read and consume. Think about your placement yall!
So an example I am going to use is from a page in Note right in the middle of the train scene when the villain enters. The composition here starts off strong as the doors of the train open because in the last page we saw the train suddenly stop. This begins the feeling of unease which is created by and carried on from the last page and is added by the train doors in the first panels being slanted and not head and the sharp ding sound created, alerts our characters to something about to happen. Now when looking at the next panel the camera is angled downward showing our heroes terrified at what they are seeing as the speed lines add weight to the situation and tension. Now the sound effects kick in bringing us down to see what this horror they saw and it is the man they tried to evade earlier walking in. To add to his entrance I place the camera downward to give the reader the feeling that our heroes are ants about to be stepped on by this menacing treat. The villain also takes up a relatively huge space on the page so even though Siza and him are ready to fight. Siza seems small. We also get a few bits of close ups as some important info is told to Siza right before we need to turn the page. Panels are small here and that speeds up the scene going into the next page. So again think about the angle of your shots and the way you place your characters within those panels
Clarity now I think is important to have for your manga or we cant read it. I know we all want to fit everything we can into a panel and even a page. But the problem is that, one, not everything can go on a page and two is that less is also more. It sucks to have to work on more pages or be limited by them but we need to work with what we are given sometimes. So in this case think that less can be more. The more clear and succinct you are with your pages and panels the easier your ideas and dialogue will be transmitted to the reader. Because when you pack so much important information into a page albeit being great for the story it can overwhelm your reader and can bog down the flow as they want to know more but it's better to spread out what you want in your panel and dialogue over a few pages then into one. This is a really difficult balancing act. But think about the information overload and how to make that simple. That also plays into composition putting TOO much art work in one section can make something hard to see what's going on so being very intentional with your composition so you can make it clear where you want the reader's eye to go and what else is going on in the scene.
Ok now we have Broken down the 3 C’s your Storyboard needs to achieve flow Continuity, Composition and clarity and with some fine tuning it would create amazing flow in your Manga. Now remember Flow is how your pages read from the beginning to the end. You'll know the flow of a storyboard is good when you are able to feel that you're smoothly reading through pages and are not too bogged down reading chunks of dialogue or understanding what is happening visually in your story. Even though it's a storyboard, think about creating the flow here because in the later iterations of your process you will change parts of your structure but creating a strong foundation now will help you later.
Now in flow one of the things I talked about earlier was non conventional panels. The use of these page and panel types can break flow but if used right it can enhance that feeling you want to give the reader. So special panels need to have a logic that follows your page structure and make sense to why you formatted differently from the Z format of reading and another thing is it needs to be used sparingly I wont say how many times you need this but if your whole manga is special panels.. Well it's not special, just nonconventional and possibly hard to read and understand and lacks clarity. Let's look at some examples to understand what these non conventional pages look like.
Now Spreads are super important. I say that use these for the more impactful part of your presentation of your story , something that not just one page can hold. It's something extremely dynamic that you can use to display action but also using it to move the story along in a creative way. I think the perfect juxtaposition is between the two spread pages I created for note. Basically the use of two pages for a dynamic representation and in an impactful way.
Now for the technical stuff about your storyboard can be on paper or digital. I prefer physical and paper because one thing about your story board is that it is small thumbnail sketches. Thumbnail sketches are just small sketches not using hyper detail. This is a big reason why I say you should do physical over digital and this is detail. One thing I find with artists is that we can get stuck in the details. If you are just a writer artist combo don't worry about this point. But Artists if you have to focus on speed, you won't get caught up in the digital details as this is something you can get lost in using digital. Then you can also make any changes or additions in the next section of your manga making progress.
Then some small notes to keep in mind. Don't forget to number your pages just to be able to have a reference and keep everything organized. Also there is something that has happened to me where I noticed that the script might need more space than I thought so I add extra pages and this is where the first revision will happen in your page numbers since you could end up needing more or less. So page numbers keep track to not get lost about where your manga will end up.
Now you might be trying to speed through your art and there might be things that you forget or want to correct later. Easiest thing is to make a note of it in your margins or the panel you want to change later. A small detail to think about but will help with your later process in case you can't fully get down what you want in your thumbnail sketch.
Another thing I got into earlier was about the structure of the page but in the layout we want to be cognizant of something called the gutter and the gutter is where everything can get lost so its the area that's towards the spine of your book. So if you have important dialogue or images in your panel you want to do your best to stay away from that section. This is more important if you plan to do a physical release but I don't think it hurts and helps you think about how each page is in relation to gutter.
These are my most simple tips for making a storyboard feel free to do it how you want and take a pic and put it in the comments I would love to see what it looks like for you. I use printer paper and keep my paper horizontal with a crease in the middle to denote the two pages. Now depending the reading orientation i will have the staples to the left or right of story board. Then i would implement all the steps I outlined before to fill in everything. Then we would finish this huge step.
Now we can move on to making the manga however next video I want to do a huge in depth guide on making manga in clip studio and potentially giving away a free copy so you can use what you have learned so if you want to be there for this really in-depth tutorial subscribe to the channel and like the video so we can get one step closer to finishing our manga.
But now we have the guide map!
And thats all I have for you today guys! I hope you enjoyed the video! And that gave you more ideas on a nice process to mankind story board for your manga. IF you can think was there anything that i missed or you wanted me to expand on put it in the comment section down below! But dont forget to hit that subscribe button and like for more and hit that bell for notifications when you want to hear things i have to say! But yeah guys i’ll catch you thin the next one, peace, byeeeeee.